News

US: Immediate North Korean Decision on Nuclear Talks Unlikely

The State Department is cautioning against expectations of a breakthrough in U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth's visit to North Korea aimed at getting Pyongyang back to multi-lateral negotiations on its nuclear program. Bosworth's visit which began Tuesday is the first high-level dialogue between the Obama administration and the communist state.

Stephen Bosworth (l), US special envoy to North Korea, shakes hands with an unidentified North Korean official upon his arrival at Pyongyang airport, 08 Dec 2009
Stephen Bosworth (l), US special envoy to North Korea, shakes hands with an unidentified North Korean official upon his arrival at Pyongyang airport, 08 Dec 2009

U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth is in Pyongyang to determine North Korea's readiness to return to the Chinese-sponsored six-party nuclear talks.

But a senior State Department official says that given Pyongyang's record on such matters, it may take more than one round of talks to determine if the negotiations, stalled for more than a year, can be restarted.

Bosworth arrived in the North Korean capital with a small inter-agency team of U.S. officials Tuesday on the first visit of its kind since former U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill went there in October of last year.

The senior official said despite recent conciliatory comments from Pyongyang, it would not be surprising if the North Korean response to Bosworth is indeterminate and that further consultations on a return to the nuclear talks are required.

The official said the Bosworth team was expected to begin meetings with North Korean officials late Tuesday, have a full day of talks Wednesday, and leave Pyongyang for Seoul Thursday to begin consultations with other parties to the negotiations.

He said for reasons of communications security,  the U.S. envoy would not consult with administration officials on the outcome of the visit until he reached Seoul.

North Korea had indicated in advance of Bosworth's arrival that it wanted to discuss a peace treaty with the United States that would end the technical state of war that has existed since the end of the Korean conflict of the 1950's.

But at a news briefing, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley said Bosworth's agenda is limited to trying to learn if Pyongyang will return to the six-party talks, and reaffirm its 2005 agreement to scrap its nuclear program in return for outside aid and diplomatic benefits.

Crowley said a peace treaty can be taken up under the framework of the six-party talks.

"We will make clear to them that should they return to the six-party process and should they reaffirm their commitments under the 2005 joint communiqué, then there is available to them a robust channel for bilateral dialogue with which we can discuss a wide range of issues," he said.  "On the issue of a peace treaty, obviously the United States is not the only party to that peace treaty. That would have to be done in a multi-lateral context."

North Korea shut down its nuclear reactor complex and was in the process of permanently disabling it last year when negotiations broke down. It subsequently expelled U.N. inspectors, quit the six-party process and tested a nuclear device, but it has lately softened its rhetoric and hinted it might rejoin the talks.

A State department official Monday said Bosworth would offer Pyongyang no new inducements for returning to the talks. He said if the North Korean answer to Bosworth is no, it will reinforce the international community's intention to strongly enforce U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs